Electronics packaging has become recognized as a critical technology
for the continued growth of the nation's electronics industry. The
field is inherently multi-disciplinary in nature, which makes it difficult
for industry to find engineers with the appropriate design skills.
The particular technical challenge of the electronics packaging field is
not unique; industrial and academic leaders have long advocated exposure
of students to multidisciplinary design experiences on a broader scale.
So for the engineering education community, the sophomore electronics packaging
course described below provides an ideal example of exposure to a multidisciplinary
field. For the microelectronics industry, and the packaging and assembly
communities in particular, there is the possibility with such a course
to introduce electronics packaging to a broader range of students than
would be likely to take one within a more specialized program. To reach
this broader range, the course is targeted at the sophomore level, where
students tend to have a more uniform background before specialization in
one of the traditional departmental disciplines. The course therefore
assumes only a basic freshman science and math background as its pre-requisite,
making it accessible to all engineering and physical science majors.
To date, most packaging courses have been limited to the graduate level,
with only recent migration downwards as senior electives. The sophomore
level course will require the development of new support materials - specifically
a textbook, laboratory experiments, a software package, and Internet based
modules. The course philosophy will also be based on the physics-of-failure
approach to design for reliability, providing additional exposure to concepts
not normally encountered at the undergraduate level. The materials
will be widely demonstrated at national workshops.
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